Saturday Noah finished his first unofficial 5k in 36 minutes, running alongside me at the St. Francis Run for Peace/Walk for Wellness 5k. Only one week before the race Noah’s longest run was a little over a mile– albeit at a respectable 10:15 pace.
Last year Noah started and finished the race with me– which is to say he started strong alongside me, but faded about a half mile in. Fortunately for me a friend graciously volunteered to bring Noah around the course, giving me a chance to sprint for a few kilometers. At the race’s last turn, where the course doubled-back on itself, Noah had caught up, and was able to sprint the last hundred yards with me to the finish.
Based on that performance- and his relative lack of distance running since then- I didn’t expect him to fare much better this time around in the race. Nonetheless, when we mentioned to Noah that one of his older friends Liam was planning to run the race with his dad, Noah decided he was going to run with me. Admittedly, I still did not expect him to finish the race- and quickly concluded that registering him for a race number was unnecessary.
Oh contraire, bon jour! We lined up beside Liam and his father, and kept up with them for the first half mile or so. Then as the course turned downhill Noah actually picked up the pace, and started chasing older kids. After mile two, Noah was cruising- we ran that one at a 9:33 pace! For Noah, running a race with a crowd of people to chase (and chasing him) seemed so much easier than the previous week’s mile-long jog in our quiet neighborhood. Added to the race crowd were the cheers for Noah’s spider-man tee shirt, and Noah was practically all smiles from start to finish.
Noah took a brief walking break after that fast second mile, and the last 1/3 of the race was noticeably slower since he took a few more walking breaks, and eventually said he needed to take a potty break. Nonetheless, we reached the last turn and Noah had more than enough energy to pick up the pace and sprint to the finish. I was surprised and thrilled Noah finished his first 5k, and that he came close to running the whole way. My only minor regret was not registering Noah- a mistake I don’t plan to make the next time around.
Speaking of, I’ve gotta find another 5k so Noah can get an official time in the books!